My (Not So) Secret Passion

Do you have a secret passion? Something you love to do? I know people that are gun nuts. They have a room (securely locked) in their basement that’s full of guns. Old guns, new guns, rifles, pistols…etc. If it shoots something they’ll buy it. Other people love history and spend their weekends in tents dressed as a Union soldier or a paratrooper of the 101st Airborne. Then there are people with perverted secret passions. I’m sure I know people like that but none that have admitted them to me.

My not-so-secret passion is writing. I love to write and do it almost every day. It might stem from my love of reading. My mother tells me that I always wanted her to read to me when I was very young and I still read a lot today. But writing is my first love. I crank out a myriad of articles, data sheets, blogs, newsletter pieces and more every month. I also write books. I’ve written the Industrial Ethernet book, the Modbus book, two OPC UA books and now a book on EtherNet/IP, The Everyman’s Guide to EtherNet/IP.

The EtherNet/IP book is a great reference guide for everyone who really wants to know what CIP is, what EtherNet/IP is and what the differences between the two of them are. It’s a story (no, not a love story – I don’t write those): a story of how and why this technology was conceived. But mostly it is a good handbook for the technology describing its place in the automation world and how it relates to other technologies like Modbus TCP, PROFINET IO and the rest.


It’s important to note that the book is not a specification. It won’t bore you with every last bit and byte of every message type. What it does give you is the essence, the essentials: enough detail that if you had to read the CIP or EtherNet/IP specification you’d have an easier time already knowing the basics of the EtherNet/IP story.

The book is in four sections. It begins with a general discussion of Industrial Ethernet and the history of Ethernet on the factory floor. Next is the real heart of the book, CIP, the Common Industrial Protocol. CIP is the base technology behind DeviceNet, ControlNet, and EtherNet/IP. CIP is an absolute precursor to understanding EtherNet/IP. The third section is on EtherNet/IP. What exactly it is and how it is different from CIP. And, in the fourth section, the book concludes with miscellaneous topics like the CIP Extensions (Device Level Ring, CIP Safety, CIP Sync, CIP Motion, and CIP Energy), how EtherNet/IP differs from PROFINET IO and how EtherNet/IP is used by end users, software developers.

This is my 7th book. I am a bit behind my writing hero, Tom Clancy. Tom had 17 books that were best sellers and over 100,000,000 in print. I’m still a few hundred million behind, but I’ll keep at it. Tom’s dead so every book sale puts me one closer.

Writing is my not-so-secret passion, and I hope you’ll enjoy this book and learn a little something about EtherNet/IP.